The Covid-19 Pandemic is, by every measure, a disaster and interestingly enough, despite the varying nature of disasters, most humans react in similar ways or patterns to disaster caused stress.

From the Practice the Pause website :  "Do you get halfway through a page and forget what you’ve read? Have you fired off a quick remark to an e-mail before thinking through your response? Do you have headaches, stomachaches, or trouble sleeping?  These are all common responses to a disaster. You may think it’s just you, but studies show that these are normal reactions to an abnormal situation."

The commonality of symptoms is a fact that helps psychologists create a roadmap and in turn, a tool kit to help us all deal with mental health and the emotional problems activated by all things Coronavirus.

Dr. Robi Nelson works with Catholic Charities serving the Yakima area and she appeared on the KIT Morning News to talk about a behavior health program called "Practice The Pause" from the Greater Columbia Accountable Community of Health.

Disaster reaction researchers discovered the common human behavioral patterns that occur in a disaster and from those findings Dr. Kira Mauseth of Seattle developed a three-skill-model approach to help people of all ages develop a resilience to the impacts of disasters like the current pandemic.


The three skills areas are COPE, CALM & CARE. Here is how Dr. Mauseth lays out what COPE is all about...see the website for more details on the entire "Practice the Pause" program.


  • Check for your automatic reaction (thought)
  • Observe the emotion and behavior connected to the reaction.
  • Plan an alternative thought, reaction, or response
  • Execute positive change though practice and repetition

Dr. Nelson says she hope this kind of information is available in the toolkits which she hopes to see get out everyone in the region.

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